The San Antonio Zoo has welcomed the newest additions to its reptile collection--a two-headed Texas river cooter (Pseudemys texana), named Thelma and Louise. The bicephalic (two-headed) turtle was born with three other siblings June 18 and made their first public appearance June 25. "At this time, Thelma and Louise are doing well on exhibit and eating with both heads,” said Craig Pelke, curator of reptiles, amphibians and aquatics at the zoo. Bicephalic animals are twins that don't separate and Pelke said that while uncommon, it is not unheard of in both wild and captive populations.
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Texas river cooter. Photo courtesy San Antonio Zoo
The Texas river cooter can be found in creeks, rivers, lakes and other bodies of water in the state of Texas. It grows to a shell length of more than 12 inches, is green in coloration and has yellow and black markings that fade as they get older. Males have longer tails and claws and are smaller in size than females.
Want to Learn More?
Captive care for cooter turtles of ponds and rivers
Florida Pond Cooter Species Profile
Thelma and Louise are currently on display at the San Antonio Zoo. For more information about the zoo, visit its website at /redirect.aspx?location=https%3a%2f%2fsazoo.org